A lot of college football coaches have complained about name, image and likeness (NIL) compensation for players, from Alabama’s Nick Saban through LSU’s Brian Kelly and Missouri’s Eli Drinkwitz. There have also been quite a few of those coaches and others blasting the transfer portal and the increased player movement we’ve seen between programs under the current setup. Miami’s Mario Cristobal has a different take, though, and that involves some complaints about the complainers. Susan Miller Degnan of The Miami Herald relayed that in a story on Cristobal’s comments at the ACC Football Kickoff media days Tuesday:
'OUR PROGRAM, NOTHING IS GOING TO STOP IT FROM ACHIEVING NATIONAL PROMINENCE AGAIN'
— Susan Miller Degnan (@smillerdegnan) July 25, 2023
The key part of that on NIL and the portal:
On other coaches and people complaining about the transfer portal and NIL, but Cristobal not complaining: “We have to be an example for our players. We tell our players, ‘Hey man, no complaining. Get right to work. It is what it is.’ …It’s our responsibility to do it the same way. In a world full of social media tough guys. You know what’s tough? Showing up every day and going to work and making change instead of making noise. If we want to change things, let’s make change. Let’s not go on these rants that do nothing for anybody.’’
The “social media tough guys” line seems perhaps a bit misplaced, as most of these comments from coaches have not come on social media (which most of them do not seem to regularly personally use). Instead, they’ve come from comments to media (which some, like Drinkwitz, have then blamed media for publicizing).
There have been some rants about the portal and NIL from some coaches who actually do regularly use social media, including Colorado’s Deion Sanders and Ole Miss’ Lane Kiffin. But those have again largely come from comments to media rather than on social media (and those two coaches certainly use the transfer portal and NIL). Although, Kiffin did take this to social media Tuesday morning with a shot at Paul Finebaum and a reference to NCAA president Charlie Baker’s recent comments, so maybe that was on Cristobal’s mind:
"I think it was a big mistake by the NCAA not to do a framework around NIL when they had the opportunity to," NCAA President Charlie Baker said during the Future of College Athletics Summit, not far from Capitol Hill. "And I think there were too many people in college sports who…
— Lane Kiffin (@Lane_Kiffin) July 25, 2023
At any rate, it’s certainly interesting to see Cristobal (who has been taking advantage of the portal and NIL himself) take this kind of shot at complaining coaches. We’ll see if any of them fire back.